Why are trees in highly developed urban areas important?

Unfortunately, trees are many times thought to be a nuisance due to maintenance costs, storm damage, and leaf clean up. Trees in cities and towns provide the residents with many functional benefits. I will only mention the economic benefits here. These are extremely important to note especially in tough economic times for Municipalities. US Forest Service research scientists have proven that trees reduce heating and cooling costs, reduce pollutants from the air, capture and store carbon (green house gases), shade prolongs the life of asphalt pavement up to 35 % , and rainfall interception by leaves, can reduce runoff and flooding. The use of large canopy trees, provide these benefits at a very low cost. Forested areas within a municipal boundary are also extremely important to provide these benefits. These forested areas can be preserved for a very minimal cost. Trees are as essential to municipal infrastructure as streets, sidewalks, and sewer systems, and are much cheaper to maintain. Citizens of each community should support their Municipal Tree Program to ensure they are receiving all that trees provide.